Title: The Red Curse
Pairing(s): Various/Spike, Fred/Wesley, others as story develops
Rating/Warnings: NC-17 (Non-con/Rape, BDSM, torture, violence, language) Previous Parts
A/N: Short post, as this is only the first half of this chapter. I cut it off in the middle of a scene. The second half will probably be posted Thursday/Fridayish.
Part 26A: Cavalry
They'd decided to spend the rest of the night in a hotel room. It was a shitty place, and Spike had seen a cockroach climb the outside wall when they'd pulled up in Willow's car. He didn't mention it. The girls had said they were short on cash, and Spike didn't exactly carry credit, despite his fortune. There was just too much chance some nasty would get his hands on it. And he wouldn't go back to the mansion yet. Not until he was certain his presence wouldn't harm Lorne.
Voices drifted around Spike. He registered the sounds, but not their meanings. The Red Curse ran its torment over him in small, persistent waves – the bed he was sitting on was a background feeling to that of a metal prong collar bruising his neck, and a plush carpet at his knees.
His soul ached, and the stirrings of hunger were beginning again. Whatever strength he had gained from his earlier meal had all but left him. He felt cold, and shivered intermittently, even though he was inside and had not removed his jacket. His hand, which had since been bandaged, burned dully beneath the wraps. He knew the skin would grow back within the day.
The blankets on the bed of the shoddy hotel room looked thin and frail, and smelled of an overuse of harsh cleaners. But in that moment Spike wanted nothing more than to rest his head against the stiff pillow and sleep for weeks.
There was a touch against his arm. Spike did not immediately register it as a real world presence, thinking it was yet another created sensation from the curse. But then a hand pressed against his cheek, and his face was turned to the side.
Buffy gazed worriedly at him. Her skin against his face was smooth, flawless. “Hey.” He could feel her steady heartbeat through her palm. “You with us?”
Spike swallowed against a dry throat. “Can't exactly say yes,” he admitted. He winced as he felt a harsh tug at his throat, another touch to his face superimposing over Buffy's. He tried to focus, but it was hard to stay grounded in the reality beyond the curse.
Buffy frowned, but a determination had jumped to her eyes. “Willow's going to take a look at you. She thinks she has a way she can stop Glory from hurting you when you're asleep.”
Spike turned his eyes to Willow, who was standing in front of him, her pale hands clasped together, her lips pulled tight. Her hair was shorter than when he'd last seen her – and in a brown top and bustle skirt, she looked every bit the earthy witch.
He wasn't sure that was reassuring. Earthy was all fine and good, but was it enough to combat a hellgod?
Spike sighed and bowed his head. “What's the catch?”
“You'll need to be asleep,” Willow explained. The words sent an instinctual ripple of fear through Spike. “A-And it's not a permanent solution. And I'll need to be inside your mind to even see if it works at all.” She paused, and sucked in a breath. “But I'm hoping I can figure out how tightly she's wedged in there.”
Spike pressed his hand to his eyes as he flashed on Glory's gloating face. “Red... what Glory does to me, it's not pretty.”
“I-I'm good at keeping secrets,” Willow said.
Spike scoffed, and Buffy squeezed his arm to get his attention. “I won't ask her to tell me anything.”
Spike thought on it for a long moment. Eventually, he shrugged. “What the hell. S'not as if I have any brilliant ideas.”
Willow shook her hands out in preparation. “Okay. I need you to lie back.”
Spike obeyed, a flutter of nervousness filling his belly. Steady hands came up to either side of his face, and he flinched as he felt a surge of magic build in the air.
He stared up at the witch with wide eyes. Her hair had begun to lift, as if the gravity of the room had changed, and sparks of energy crackled in her eyes. He couldn't look away.
Her voice sounded inside his head. “Ready?”No!
“Yeah,” he grunted.
There was a blasting noise, and then he was being sucked into unconsciousness, like being pulled under molasses.
He was in the dark of the abyss. It raged for no longer than a few seconds before he felt a hand clench into his hair and wrench him back. “You are dead meat, Precious.”
He was sent flying, until he rolled across hard cement. He came to a stop against a crater of stone rubble. Buffy's body was there in the center, limp and broken.
The hand returned to his hair, tugging viciously. He cried out as some roots were pulled from his scalp. “Remember this?” Glory hissed, her voice sounding more enrage with every passing second. She pressed his face down into Buffy's soft sweater, the smell of a freshly dead body filled his nostrils. His heart ached with the remembered loss. “Remember when you had that delusional idea that you could actually help anything? Huh?”
His face was slammed into the pavement. He tasted blood. Then he was again flying through the air. This time, his back slammed into a wall, and he landed on his knees on a cot. Chains snaked tightly about his waist, his wrists shackled behind him. A large hand grasped at his neck.
He was in a Wolfram and Hart prison cell.
Hamilton smirked at him, and thumbed at his Adam's apple. “You can scream all you'd like. I'm not usually a gentle partner.”
A hand reached beneath Spike's pants and began to roughly fist him. He clenched his jaw as sparks of pain mixed with jolts of arousal. His cock jumped up eagerly. Teeth pinched his neck, and he curled his lip in disgust.
“Nice try, but it didn't happen like this,” Spike breathed. He met the fake Hamilton's eyes. “Angel and I tore bastard's throat out.”
“True,” Hamilton raised a hand and tapped harshly at the side of Spike's head. “But I'm still up here. And you should know as well as the rest of us, Spike.” Spike was shoved onto his back, now naked against the prison cot. “A dead man can still cause a lot of damage.”
Suddenly, Hamilton shuddered out of existence, and Willow was in his place, holding Spike down by the neck.
Her eyes widened. “Oh.” She looked down at Spike's naked body, and immediately, her cheeks colored. “Oh!”
There was a sudden blast of energy, and Willow threw herself to the side to avoid it. Stone crumbled from the scorched wall.
Glory stood in the center of the cell, hands stiff and angry at her sides. Her chest heaved beneath her red dress. “What the hell
Spike struggled up, rubble falling from his bare chest. “The bloody cavalry,” he growled.
Glory held her hand out and a chain encircled Spike's throat, crushing his trachea. “Shut it, Precious.”
Willow flicked her hair back, hate filling her eyes. Spike gasped helplessly, trapped by the chains.
Glory's eyes widened as recognition filled. “Well, if it isn't the little witch bitch.” She stomped over to Willow. “Heard your girlfriend got a bullet to her chest.”
Glory outstretched a hand and Willow blinked out of existence. She appeared again behind Glory.
“Ugh!” Glory whirled around, hands raised in a doubled fist. “Hold still, you little–“
Willow blinked out again before the blow could connect. When she reappeared, she looked smug. “What's the matter, Glory? You can't pull me around. You're not in my
A sudden light came to Glory's eyes. She smirked, and her eyes turned back to Spike. “I guess you do have a couple of people that kind of care about your sorry ass. How do you think she would like to watch while it's torn open?”
Willow's eyes widened. “No!”
Spike found himself spread wide on his back on Ambrus's bed, chained and gagged. Ambrus himself loomed over Spike, his cock rigid and covered in swirls of metal. The man positioned himself at Spike's entrance.
Spike moaned. It would happen again, and Willow would see, and she'd tell Buffy...
Then, he noticed – his jaw didn't ache, the chains weren't cutting into the wrists and ankles. And whatever Ambrus was doing to him – he couldn't feel it at all. It doesn't hurt...
A hand grasped at his face, and now Glory was in Ambrus's place. “What the fuck do you mean, it doesn't hurt?”
“Exactly what he says,” Willow stated. She came and stood next to the bed. “You having a hard time following, Glory? I kind of just explained it to you back there.”
Glory huffed like an angry bull. “What did you do?”
“I'm in Spike's head. I'm just making sure every time you try to push those pain sensors in his brain, the neurons don't communicate properly.” Willow tilted her head. “It's easy. Kinda like hacking into a computer. And if I ever get the feeling you're going to try to take over his body, I'll just stop the magical analgesics.”
Spike exhaled in a shudder. He had never thought he would be so glad for someone to tamper with his brain.
Glory screamed in frustrated rage. “I'll tear the flesh from your face and stomp on your eyeballs!”
Willow was unmoved. “No, you won't. Not unless you can figure out a way to take over Spike's body.” Her tone grew menacing, as she stepped forward and moved right into Glory's space. “And I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen. One way or another, Glory, we're going to tear you out, and take you down.”
Spike woke to the shoddy hotel room. Willow was in front of him, her eyes flickering back into awareness, the scent of magic sliding from the room.
The mind-numbing tiredness had left Spike. He felt refreshed. Alert. Maybe able to bear a few more days of pain and not go off his rocker. Even his hand felt better.
Willow raised her eyebrows. “Was that okay?”
“Was that...” Spike exhaled in wonder. He nearly felt like weeping with relief at the thought that one of his torments had been rendered inactive. “Red, that was brilliant.”
He turned, eager to tell Buffy the good news. But the scent hit his nostrils before his eyes saw the scene. She was beside him, asleep on the bed.
And beside her, also asleep, was Angel.